Shipping within the EU from Germany?

i think that some people who have been vocal in regards to this VAT “issue” have MAYBE been silently suggesting that Purism is to take the MAXIMUM VAT value, slap it to the “shop-price” then based on INDIVIDUAL user locations calculate deductibles in form of reimursments or gifts of-some-sort.

i for one think this would be a huge pain in the backside for you guys and unnecessary for either party.

Thanks nicole for your reply i totally agree with you, have you in europe it’s a great value for us

How do I calculate how much I need to pay? Is it 25% of $599? Also what if I dont have the money for it?

if your country has a 25% VAT and you are buying after general shipping starts (currently it’s supposed to be 31 July) then you will pay 699 + 25% (175 if my math is right) for a total of 875. a few more days and you can get it for 650 + 25% = ~812

Thanks for your detailed insight in your plans.
I read about the VAT thing across EU countries and from outside for this thread. While doing so i came across a paragraph which said you as a firm could only stickt to the vat of your location (germany 19%) if your total export to other eu countries is below 35k or 100k € (the or was in the paragraph with no explanation on which condition) other wise you need to pay the vat of and to the customer eu country. I think with phones and laptops you might cut this quite quickly. So you might wanna lock into this again. I just want to prevent wrong promises here and make you aware of this.

Cross country selling seams a pretty complex thing. Thanks a lot for the effort.

In general:
I think the final thing will be every body in the eu will have to pay his countries vat. If purism dose the shipping purism has to collect it and probably do it according to the customers countries vat.


You are correct with the numbers, but AFAIK these are per country and not in total. Since the majority of the orders came from Germany we should be pretty safe for quite some time. And even if, then the magnitude of orders justify a bit more hassle, which is actually not that bad, you just need to get a tax ID in the country you export into and us this for this country - but then the local VAT rate applies. The German VAT rate is one of the lower VAT rates in the EU so for most countries it will at first be beneficial to have it shipped from Germany with German VAT applied.



To me it was quite clear that the price was without VAT but I am used to international trade where the price always i without taxes - simply because the taxes should be paid in your own country. But within EU we can buy without VAT if we have a VAT number. I have one and I can deduce VAT if I buy from Germany but probably not if I buy from US (I do not know the rules in the US states). For an end consumer it is better to pay German VAT because it is one of the lowest in EU as Nicole indicated. But is would probably also be favourable for me to buy from Germany.


Concerning shipping and handling from and within EUR, like I said, we are actively working on it and I sincerely hope that we will have this sorted out until we start shipping the phone. If plans work out, then we will be able to ship from a place which has a EU VAT tax ID so that businesses within the EU and which also have a valid VAT tax ID can be serviced without charging the VAT first. Also handling of RMAs and service will then be handled within the EU - less hassle, no export and re-import etc.



That would be great :slight_smile:

But why did you state in the 2017 faq that “we will be shipping all German (and hopefully EU orders in general) from Germany.”
Now you say that “we are actively working on it and I sincerely hope that we will have this sorted out” and “If plans work out, then we will be able to ship from a place which has a EU VAT tax ID”.
This is not inspiring confidence.
Nevertheless, wish you all the best.

It is our plan to do so, yes. The plan stands.
I’m an engineer and the most common phrase of engineers is “Yes, but…” :slight_smile:


That is of course assuming the phone is shipped from within the EU. If it’s shipped from the US, then there’s an additional customs fee to be paid. In my country (Belgium), that would be another €30 on top of the 21% VAT, which at current exchange rates adds up to an extra €30 + €123 = €153 ($170) on top of the phone’s $650. So while my VAT rate is 21%, my total extra cost is 26.15% give or take.

And then there’s apparently also an import tax to be paid, although its percentage depends on the type of product in question. And which may also depend on the country of origin. But that database is so convoluted a cat won’t find its young in there, so I was unsuccessful in figuring out how much that would add.

tl;dr: international shipping is a mess. :wink:


I’m out of my depth here, but presumably this fee is also paid if the phone is imported from the US to Germany, since both Belgium and Germany are members of the European Union Customs Union. So, perhaps we should expect to be charged it regardless.

(Edit: It’s just occurred to me that you might be referring to a fee for processing through customs, rather than a customs charge/import tax, in which case, I suppose it probably varies between countries and import methods.)

You’ve got to be kidding me! How the #### am I supposed to get that kind of money? @nicole.faerber what if I can’t pay for the VAT? I was really looking forward to getting the Librem 5. :sob::sob:

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i want to get the L5 so much that i’ll even put up with paying for a few at once. not sure if i’ll have to pay a one fee for all or for each individual L5 (this will suck but oh well). for customs i mean.

The import tax for phones and laptops seems to be 0€. (At least for Germany - but it wouldn’t make much sense if it were different for EU members…)
So, it should be exactly 19% VAT in Germany, and slightly more in other EU countries.
(I think that’s exactly what I had to pay for my Librem 13).
And as Nicole pointed out, if a German shop is established, it would probably be those 19% also for orders outside Germany (until Purism grows too much :wink: )


Yes, I think that’s what was meant. If VAT (MwSt, whatever …) is not collected by the overseas seller then many countries will try to collect it at the border and they will charge the purchaser a fee for the hassle (a customs processing fee).

If Purism had an EU distributor and sold stock in bulk directly to the EU distributor then VAT would still apply (one way or another) but at least there may be economies of scale on the customs processing fee if one applies.

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Yes, I realise now that this was basically equivalent to the fee I mentioned being charged by the Royal Mail when importing to the UK in my earlier post.

Thank you, it would be nice. It is very easy to buy within EU and shipping is fast. I buy a lot from Germany and it is faster than buying from Finland. If I import from outside EU it often comes directly without customs fee but if I have to pay a customs fee it is nowadays very easy over the Internet (at least in Finland). I just use my bank codes to identify myself, pay the fee and get the thing delivered with the post. Customs used to be slow and difficult but I have to admit that the new system is easy to use and fast. I do not know about other countries but I suppose all are going in this direction.

In addition, the shipping fees would be far less.

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